The Disaster That Is The Supes 75 Logo

By | Thursday, May 30, 2013 Leave a Comment
You know, even though I've got a degree in graphic design, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the world's best designer. I don't think I'm the worst, certainly, but probably somewhere squarely in the middle of the pack, talent-wise. So, if my blog's very exitsence wasn't enough qualification for me to speak to the newly revealed logo for Superman's 75th anniversary, I'll pull out whatever graphic design cred I have on this one.

In summation, what the hell is that?

I get that it's a silhouette of Supes with the "75 Years" tag below it, but that is a piece of crap design if I've ever seen one! In no particular order of significance, why a half silhouette? The character has one of the most iconic images in comicdom on his chest -- why do you need to display any more of the figure to get across who you're talking about? Somebody clearly realized it's importance, or else they wouldn't have made the S-shield visible at all, then they put it at a kind of strange angle as it wraps around the figure. Some of the movie posters currently out mostly feature just the S. There's a promo website where you can make your own Superman-style shield emblem. They know that's the symbol to use -- why add all the unnecessary figure details? The ones that will be completely lost anyway when it's shrunk down to the size of a UPC code on the cover.

And even if you needed to include the silhouette for some reason, don't just take the original illustration and make it a solid color! All those fiddly bits around his hair and cape do nothing but distract from the icon of a man standing there. And, geez, why is he just standing? It's a frickin' superhero! Shouldn't he be flying or punching or doing something, you know, super?

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's STANDING AROUND GUY!

And then there's that type treatment. Ugh! See that bit where the 7 and the 5 overlap? It creates some negative space with that blue. That hard angled blue x-acto knife blade looking thing cutting right through the middle of the figure. Even if that wasn't intentional, why would leave that in there? You're telling me no one that had to approve this image noticed it?

And, out of curiosity, why that font? Wouldn't somethng that's actually used on as the Superman or Action Comics logos make more sense? At least some more similar? It looks like they just used whatever their computer had set as the default san serif. Which might be okay if it were Helvetica or Futura or something classic, but it's not. To be fair, it's not the worst font they could've chosen, but it looks more arbitrary than actually chosen to me.

Lastly, the colors. Now I don't know what the official Superman red and blue are these days, but I'm fairly confident the two shown here are not it. I don't think I've ever seen Superman with a red that was that heavily towards the magenta side of things, and the blue seems much darker than is typically presented in the comics, but not so dark as what's in the current movie. My guess is they were looking for a combination not necessarily representative of the costume itself, but just a pair that worked well together in those proportions. And, again, to be fair, the colors do work on that level but the red in particular is so far removed from Superman red as to be distracting. I dare say the shifts will be even more glaring on actual comic covers where you can more immediately compare/contrast against the actual costume.

I really do not have the time/energy right now to even try my hand at an improvement. Because there is so little salvagable here that it would really require starting over from scratch to even make something tolerably decent.
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